Business Efficiency Increases, Personal Efficiency Needs To Improve

SAP Efficiency in Business Survey of over 1,900 UK employees ranging from middle management to board level reveals more than half think business efficiency has improved this millennium but many find personal efficiency a challenge.

LondonThe SAP Efficiency in Business survey published today reveals that more than 56% of respondents felt their companies had become more efficient in the last three years. The SAP Efficiency in Business Survey was undertaken in conjunction with UK online for business the DTI ePolicy and Delivery partnership, and HP with research undertaken by MyBusiness.Net. Companies represented ranged from SMEs to multi-nationals drawn from over 23 vertical industry sectors.

Employees of medium sized companies in the £10 to £50 million revenue sector topped the efficiency league with nearly two thirds (62%) of respondents recognising efficiency gains. The challenging economic conditions of the new millennium have forced all organisations to adapt and unsurprisingly, technology is seen as the main driver for positive improvements in efficiency according to 81% of those surveyed. The top three sectors to view technology as having a positive effect were Aerospace & Defence, Oil and Gas and the Public, Health & Education sectors.

Despite the improvements in business efficiency over the last three years, UK employees were less optimistic about their improvements in personal efficiency. Just over a quarter (26%) think personal efficiency has declined; furthermore, 61% of senior managers believe that their time overall is not as efficient as it could be.

Key personal efficiency issues include ‘dead-time’ wasted through commuting (with particular emphasis on the South East) and the difficulty of accessing business processes away from the office. Given that 43% of respondents spend at least a fifth of their time out of the office, and 54% of employees spend the equivalent of a day a week responding to email, connectivity on the move is becoming increasingly important.

Employees indicated that improvements in collaboration within the organisation, improved education and training and streamlined reporting procedures would have the most effect on improving efficiency and reducing waste. Other ‘efficiency stealers’ highlighted by this research include improving front and back office processes, collaboration with business partners and suppliers and improving HR processes.

“Reducing time wastage and eradicating inefficiency has never been higher on the business agenda,” said Peter Robertshaw, marketing director, SAP UK. “The business holy trinity of industry best practice, modern technology and motivated staff holds the key to improving efficiency and productivity.”

“This survey shows that organisations can improve efficiency, productivity and competitiveness through the effective and innovative use of ICTs. However, it also highlights the need to focus on cultural and organisational issues as real business successes can only be achieved when an integrated approach is taken to issues relating to people, process and technology.” commented Liz Grant, Director of ePolicy and Delivery, DTI.